I always wondered what go-kart drivers did with their used go-kart tires. Even though I don’t own a go-kart yet, I was keen on finding out what you can do with a set of old go-kart tires. After all, some drivers will replace their tires after every race.
An old go-kart tire can be utilized in several ways. This includes recycling it or getting creative and using it as a flowerpot or a weight. While recycling a used set of go-kart tires will cost you more than $10, it’s the best thing you can do with it.
But, how much will it cost you? And how hard is it to convert a tire into a weight or a pot? I’ll answer all your questions down below. Remember to never throw away your old tires; they take up much landfill space and are flammable.
How Old Can Tires Be Before Replacing
A fresh set of go-kart tires can last you a long time before it disintegrates. But, after a few race days and practice sessions, I’ve noticed that the performance of a set is vastly reduced. So, there’s really no specific period that a tire will last.
In reality, a go-kart tire can be replaced after just one race for optimal performance. If you’re not competing in a league or a championship, you could use the same tires for 3-4 race days before replacing them.
But, the duration of a set comes down to you. Are you looking for the best performance, even if that means you’ll only gain a couple of tenths? Then, you should replace your set after every session; this includes using a different set after every practice session and a new one on race day.
This will cost you quite a bit, though. While I’ve talked more in-depth about this in the go-kart tires guide, it’s better to use a single set of tires for 3-4 practice sessions and change it for the race. This way, you’ll get the best performance and won’t break the bank.
Still, this will leave you with quite a few sets of old go-kart tires once the season ends. The best thing you can do with these is to recycle them.
Are Old Go-Kart Tires Recyclable
Right off the bat, yes, go-kart tires are recyclable. There are specific recycling centers that will accept your old tires, and they’ll reuse them to make different rubber-based products. This also includes brand-new go-kart tires, in some cases.
But, the entire process of recycling your old tires isn’t simple. Most of the time, you’ll have to pay fees if you want to recycle your tires. And, yes, this sounds a bit crazy. However, recycling is much better than throwing them in the trash.
Go-kart tires are made from several materials, like rubber and polymers. These can catch on fire pretty easily, so if a lot of them are accumulated in one landfill, the risks of a fire are huge. With that said, let’s look at the whole recycling process.
What Is the Recycling Fee for Old Go-Kart Tires
On average, most recycling plants ask for $2-$3 per tire. So, that comes out to $8-$12 per set. That said, a single tire can cost you up to $5, or as low as 25 cents. This comes down to what country and state you’re in.
You could also take your old go-kart tires to tracks or kart shops, setting you back around $5-$10 per set. I’ve also heard that some tracks have a dedicated dumpster for old tires, which are free to use.
How Are Old Go-Kart Tires Recycled?
During the recycling process, go-kart tires are shredded into tiny pieces. If you’ve sent your tires along with their rims and any other parts, those will be recycled in separate areas.
Every part of the shredded tire will be used to make something. As I mentioned above, some will be made into an entirely new set of go-kart tires. But, the majority of go-kart tires are recycled into tire-derived fuel.
That said, since recycling will cost you a chunk of money in the long term, many drivers have opted for more creative ways to utilize their old tires.
Creative Ways to Use Old Go-Kart Tires
I’ve found several creative ways to use your old go-kart tires. But, you could use your own creativity to come up with something.
Making pots out of go-kart tires is easy. You simply cover one end of the tire with a plate, so the dirt doesn’t fall out and fill it up with soil. You can also paint the exterior of the tire to make it look like a regular pot.
I’ve already covered that your body will usually hurt after karting. What better way to train your arms than making your own dumbbells at home. You’ll need to fill the tires with cement (or any other dense solid) and attach them to an aluminum bar.
You could use different tires for different weights by simply putting more or less cement inside. And, if you happen to need something to keep stuff in place (like a tent), an old go-kart tire with cement is a pretty good option.
My personal favorite way to use an old tire is to make picture frames from it. You might need a bit of skill to cut it perfectly, but once that’s done, you’ll have the perfect frame for your racing pictures. Just think about it; you’re storing race day pictures inside the tire you raced with.
Once you own a kart, you’ll notice that you’ll have many used go-kart tires. Instead of throwing them away, recycling them or utilizing them creatively is an excellent choice.
Remember to never throw away your old tires. They can fill up landfills and catch fire very easily. Plus, spending an extra few bucks for recycling won’t break the bank compared to other go-kart costs.
FAQs for Old Go-Kart Tires
What Are Go-Kart Tires Made Of?
Go-kart tires are made from three materials: polymers, carbon black, and oils. Most of these are synthetic, which can be very dangerous for the environment if they catch fire. That’s why you should recycle them, as I stated above.